Minor Salivary Glands and ‘Tubarial Glands’-Anatomy, Physiology, and Pathology Relevant to Radiology

Author(s): Sabujan Sainudeen, Asmi Sabujan

Tubarial glands or tubarial salivary glands are recently reported as a pair of macroscopic salivary glands in the nasopharynx. The remote location of the glands, the rarity of major pathologies involved, and non recognized functional significance might have been the reason for the non-inclusion before. There are about 500-1000 minor salivary glands in the body, and most of them are located in the oral cavity or oropharynx. They are small and embedded in the aero-digestive tract entrance of the head and neck region. Minor salivary glands located in the nasopharynx are relatively less in number and the major pathologies associated with these glands are rare. This review is on the overall current literature of the minor salivary glands and tubarial glands-the new entity in question-along with their potential pathologies. Nasopharyngeal glandular origin diseases were reported in general as case reports or as small series. This brief review is meant to open up interest in these structures, their pathologies and encourage further characterization of diseases of the nasopharynx especially the diseases of salivary gland origin.

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